Thursday, January 10, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #2–Challenge is the theme–what are my challenges?

52 Ancestors header darker
Research challenges.  We all have them.  Whether it’s the missing 1890 census, burnt courthouses, records being held that are not available to the public or any number of other reasons.

My biggest challenges have come from my brick walls.  After 16+ years of research (on a weekly and daily basis) you’d think “what else is there to find?”  Let me tell you.

I haven’t been able to take my own maiden name, Gould, past my 2nd great grandfather.  I also haven’t been able to find my maternal great grandfather’s family.  Both of those families remain a mystery to me as of this day.  I’m hoping with DNA I will break down those brick walls and open some floodgates to my ancestors in those lines.

What I’d like to do today is share with you here, my blog posts about John C. Gould, my paternal 2nd great grandfather (1833- ?) and Robert L. Bowden, my maternal great grandfather (1863-1906).

GOULD_Wm V headshot
Wm. V. Gould (John Gould's son), my great grandfather
GOULD street sign
GOULD Rd. sign in Macomb Co., Michigan
BOWDEN_Robert-article about his death
2nd page of the article about how they discovered Robert Bowden's body in a hotel
The posts are titled MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO’S YOUR DADDY? By sharing the links with you here, I’m hoping someone, anyone, can help me solve these brick walls.  I’ve carefully outlined what I’ve done to find the families of these two men.  It’s pretty extensive.  I encourage you to read it carefully and perhaps you can tell me what I’ve missed.  I’ve covered a lot of bases….and databases….and libraries.

Here’s the link to the post for John C. Gould Mystery Monday - Who's Your Daddy? John C. Gould

Now on to my great grandfather, Robert Lee Bowden also known as Robert Edward Lee Bowden.  Born 8 Feb 1863 in White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier, Virginia – died 8 Oct 1906 in McKees Rocks, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  I’ve just re read this post and the comments associated with it.  We all know that a second, third or fourth or tenth look at anything we have on our ancestors can reveal information we missed.  I see a comment by Miriam Robbins about a possible maiden name for Robert’s mother.  I never followed that lead and will do so today.
That being said, here is the link to my post about Robert.

MYSTERY MONDAY - Who's Your Daddy? Robert L. Bowden 1863-1906  IMORTANT NOTE:  There is a Robert Lee Bowden about the same age, living in the same area, born to Elias & Sarah Bowden.  I have followed him forward in time and HE IS NOT MY ROBERT.

I respect the opinion of other researchers and I welcome your input.  Maybe this will be the year one or both of these walls are knocked down.  I sure hope so.

ONE MORE THING I have met with 2 professional genetic genealogist in the past two years and they weren’t able to solve these cases during our time together.  They did give me excellent tips on doing DNA research.  We are all thinking these men could be the result of unrecorded adoptions and their birth names were not the names they went by throughout their lives.  Anything is possible.

Thanks for listening.  I hope 2019 is the year we all break through our brick walls.

For a list of all my WHO’S YOUR DADDY posts, click HERE.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall



  1. Great idea to do the recap on your brick walls linking to previous posts. Diane, you might want to take a look at the FamilySearch catalog for Greenbrier County, West Virginia. They added lots of new records (browse only) during the past year for West Virginia including court, land, and tax records! I have a Bowden born abt. 1851 who married a Dempsey in Greenbrier in 1874. If I find a moment I'll check to see if I can find his parents. Might be a lead. I didn't click over to your original post but will do later.

    1. Thanks Cathy - I figure any way I can get the information out there could be that one clue I need. I've broken down 3 other brick walls in the past and I remember how wonderful it felt. I'll take a look at those WVA records. I don't mind browsing at all. In fact, truth be told, I enjoy it :)

  2. I love a good mystery - especially OP's since I'm still stuck on mine. Plus it gives me the chance to have a look-see in an area I don't normally go. I agree about going over something with fresh eyes every once in a while, I have found a few things I had missed on previous reads. I'll read your linked posts this week when I have time.

    1. Those mysteries can certainly be intriguing Dianne. In this case, I'm ready to solve these two and a few more. They are hiding from me.
      Thanks for stopping by


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.